« ZurückWeiter »
Matthew Parker, subsequently Abp. of Canterbury.
[Declined the Archbishoprie or
Bp. of Worcester, and Abp. of York.
Bp. of Rochester, and of Salisbury. The last two were summoned to attend upon the Committee after its first appointment. It has been supposed, from a vindication of the changes made which was sent by him to Cecil', that Guest was the person chiefly concerned in the revision, and that he acted for Parker, who was absent through illness. Cox and May were on the Committee of 1542-1549.
While this Committee was engaged on its labours, an attempt was made to reconcile the extreme Romanist party by a Conference of Divines held before the Privy Council and others in Westminster Abbey; but the attempt failed through the impracticable temper of the leading men on the Romanist side: and thus the way was made clear for a new Act of Uniformity on the basis of those passed in Edward's reign.
The Queen and Cecil both appear to have desired that the original Prayer Book, that of 1549, should be adopted as far as possible ; but the second Book, that of 1552, was taken by the Committee of Divines, and with a few alterations of some importance, submitted to the Queen to be set before Parliament. The most important of these alterations were the following:
1) A Table of Proper Lessons for Sundays was prefixed.
 The “accustomed place" or Chancel, instead of “in such place as the people may best hear," was appointed for the celebration of Divine Servicc.
 The “Ornaments” of the Church and the Ministers which had been in use under the first Book of Edward, but had been reduced to a minimum by the second, were directed again to be taken into use.
 The Litany clause, “ From the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome, and all his detestable enormities," was now omitted.
 The present form for administering the consecrated Elements to the communicants was substituted for that ordered by the Book of 1552, which was the latter half only of that now used. As the first half of the words is the form that was used in the Book of 1549, the new form was thus a combination of the two.
 The declaration respecting kneeling, which had been inserted on a fly-leaf at the end of the Communion Service in the Book of 1552, was now omitted altogether.
Thuy altered, the Book was laid before Parliament, which (without any discussion) annexed it to the Act of Uniformity. [1 Eliz. cap. 2.] This Act was passed on April 28th, 1559, and it enacted that the revised Prayer Book should be taken into use on St. John the Baptist's day following. It was used, however, in the Queen's chapel on Sunday, May 12th, and at St. Paul's Cathedral on Wednesday, May 15th. After the appointed day had passed, a Commission was issued [July 19, 1559] to Parker, Grindal, and others for carrying into execution the Acts for Uniformity of Common Prayer, and for restoring to the Crown its jurisdiction in Ecclesiastical matters'. A Royal Visitation was also held in the Province of York, under a Commission dated July 25th’. It then appeared that the Prayer Book was so generally accepted by the Clergy, that out of 9400 only 189 refused to adopt it; this number including those Bishops and others of the most extreme Romanist party, who had been appointed in Queen Mary's reign on account of what in modern times would be called their Ultramontane prejudices.
It is worth notice, however, that the Book of Common Prayer as thus revised in 1559 was quietly accepted by the great body of Romanist laity; and also that the Pope himself saw so little to object to in it that he offered to give the book his full sanction if his authority were recognized by the Queen and kingdom. “As well those restrained,” said Sir Edward Coke, “as generally all the papists in this kingdom, not any of them did refuse to come to our church, and yield their formal obedience to the laws established. And thus they all continued, not any one refusing to come to our churches, during the first ten years of her Majesty's government. And in the beginning of the eleventh year of her reign, Cornwallis, Bedingfield, and Silyarde, were the first recusants; they absolutely refusing to come to our churches. And until they in that sort began, the name of recusant was never heard of amongst us.” In the same Charge, Coke also states as follows:- That the Pope [Pius IV.] “before the time of his excommunication against Queen Elizabeth denounced, sent his letter unto her Majesty, in which he did allow the Bible, and Book of Divine Service, as it is now used among us, to be authentick, and not repugnant to truth. But that therein was contained enough necessary to salvation, though there was not in it so much as might conveniently be, and that he would also allow it unto us, without changing any part : so as her Majesty would acknowledge to receive it from the Pope, and by his allowance; which her Majesty denying to do, she was then presently by the same Pope excommunicated. And this is the truth concerning Pope Pius Quartus as I have faith to God and men. I have oftentimes heard avowed by the late Queen her own words; and I have conferred with some Lords that were of greatest reckoning in the State, who had seen and read the Letter, which the Pope sent to that effect; as have been by me specified. And this upon my credit, as I am an honest man, is most true '.” It may have been with the object of making the Pope acquainted with the real character of the Prayer Book that it was translated into Latin in the same year; and it is, possibly, to the work of translation that a document in the State Paper Office refers (Eliz. vii. 46] which, on November 30th, 1559, mentions the progress made by the Convocation in the Book of Common Prayer'. The Latin Version (differing in no small degree from the English) was set forth on April 6th, 1560, under the authority of the Queen's Letters Patent.
3 Ibid. iv. 62.
Cardw, Conf. 48. Strype's Ann. i. 120, ii. 459.
The only other change that was made in the Prayer Book during the reign of Elizabeth was in the Calendar. On January 22nd, 1561, the Queen issued a Commission to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of London, Dr. Bill, and Walter Haddon, directing them “to peruse the order of the said Lessons throughout the whole year, and to cause some new calendars to be imprinted, whereby such chapters or parcels of less edification may be removed, and other more profitable may supply their rooms?!” This commission was issued by the authority given in the 13th clause of Elizabeth's Act of Uniformity, which is cited in its opening paragraph; and in the end of it there is a significant direction, " that the alteration of any thing hereby ensuing be quietly done, without show of any innovation in the Church.” In the Calendar revised by these Commissioners the names of most of those Saints were inserted which are to be found in that of our present Prayer Book.
But although no further changes were made in the authorized devotional system of the Church during the remainder of the century, continual assaults were being made upon it by the Puritan party, extreme laxity was tolerated, and even sanctioned, by some of the Bishops (as, for example, at Northampton, by Bishop Scambler of Peterborough), and the people were gradually being weaned from their love for a Catholic ritual : while, in the meantime, a great number of the new generation were being trained, by continual controversy and by enforced habit, into a belief that preaching, either in the pulpit or under the disguise of extemporaneous prayer, was the one end and aim of Divine Service. In 1592 the Puritans had grown so rancorous that they presented a petition to the Privy Council in which the Church of England is plainly said to be derived from Antichrist; the press swarmed with scurrilous and untruthful pamphlets against the Church system; and the more sober strength of this opposition may be measured very fairly by the statements and arguments of Hooker in his noble work, the “ Ecclesiastical Polity.”
On the accession of James I., which occurred on May 7th, 1603, the hopes of those who wished
1 The Lord Coke, his Speech and Charge, London, 1607. See also Camden, Ann. Eliz., p. 59, ed. 1615. Twysden's Historical Vindication of the Church of England, p. 175. Validity of the Orders of the Church of England, by Humphrey Prideaux, D.D., 1 1688. Bramhall's Works, ii. 85, ed. 1845. Bp. Babington's Notes on the Pentateuch; on Numbers vii. Courayer's Defence of the Dissertation on the Validity of English Ordinations, ii. 360. 378. Harrington's Pius IV. and the Book of Common Prayer, 1856.
9 Sir John Mason, however, writes to Cecil, on Aug. 11th, 1559,
that the Book of Common Service in Latin is ready to print:
· These foreign fashions and principles were pertinaciously maintained by those who had fled the country in Queen Mary's days, and returned with what Parker called “Germanical natures" in Queen Elizabeth's. [Strype's Parker, i. 156.] See also Cardw. Conf. 117–120, for a strong illustration of this in Convocation.
to get rid of the Prayer Book were strengthened by the knowledge that the King had been brought up by Presbyterians. A petition was presented to him, called the “Millenary Petition,” from the number of signatures attached to it, in which it was represented that “more than a thousand” of his Majesty's subjects were “groaning as under a common burden of human rites and ceremonies," from which they prayed to be relieved by a reduction of the Prayer Book system to their own standard.
The result of this petition was the “Hampton Court Conference," an assembly of Clergy and Nonconformists, summoned by the King to meet in his presence at the Palace of Hampton Court, and discuss
the grievances complained of. This Conference met on the 14th, 16th, and 18th of
be January, 1603-4, in the presence of the King and the Privy Council; but the former reign of James I.
was so disgusted with the unreasonableness of the Puritan opponents of the Prayer Book, that he broke up the meeting abruptly on the third day, without committing the Church to any concessions in the direction they required. Under the same clause of the Act of Uniformity by which Queen Elizabeth had directed a revision of the Calendar, the King did, however, cause a few changes to be made in the Prayer Book'.
 The words “ or remission of sins” were added to the title of the Absolution.
 The “Prayer for the Royal Family” was placed at the end of the Litany; and also some Occasional Thanksgivings.
 Two slight verbal changes were made at the beginning of the Gospels for the Second Sunday after Easter and the Twentieth Sunday after Trinity.
 An alteration was made in one of the Rubrics for Private Baptism. [See the Office.]
In the following year a petition was presented to the King from ministers in the Diocese of Lincoln, in which fifty “gross corruptions” were enumerated in the Prayer Book : and they demanded its total abolition as the only means by which the land could be rid of the idolatry and superstition which it enjoined. Such was the spirit of the times upon which the Church of England was now entering, and which culminated after a struggle of forty years more in the suppression of the Prayer Book.
An“ordinance” was passed by the Parliament on January 3rd, 1645, which repealed the Prayer Book in the Acts of Uniformity, and enacted that the Book of Common Prayer should not 1645.
thenceforth be used in any Church, Chapel, or place of worship in England or Wales. On August 23rd, 1645, another ordinance forbade the use of it in private, required all copies of the Book be given up, and imposed heavy penalties upon those who dared to disobey these singularly tyrannical injunctions. For fifteen years the prayers of the Church of England could only be said in extreme privacy, and even then with danger of persecution to those who used them'.
$ The Revision of 1661. When the new form of government, established by Cromwell, had collapsed after his death, the restoration of the ancient constitution of the country involved the restoration of its ancient Church, and consequently of its ancient system of devotion as represented by the Book of Common Prayer. Notwithstanding the highly penal law which had been passed against its use, there had been many bold and faithful men who had not feared to "obey God rather than men.” Bishops Bull and Sanderson had been notable instances of this stedfastness, and they did not by any means stand alone. As the time drew
I See the official document in Cardw. Conf. pp. 217--225. , manner of performing the public service was with so much fer
? In the State Papers, Kennett's Register, and Walker's vour and ardency of affection, and with so powerful an emphasis Sufferings of the Clergy, there are many cases recorded of heavy in every part, that they who were most prejudiced against the fines levied on those who were discovered using the Prayer Book. | Liturgy, did not scruple to commend Mr. Bull as a person that
3 « The iniquity of the times would not bear the constant and prayed by the Spirit, though at the same time they railed at the regular use of the Liturgy; to supply therefore that misfortune, Common Prayer as a beggarly element, and as a carnal perMr. Bull formed all the devotions he offered up in public, while formance. he continued minister of this place, out of the Book of Common “A particular instance of this happened to him while he was Prayer, which did not fail to supply him with fit matter and minister of St. George's, which, because it showeth how valuable proper words upon all those occasions that required him to apply the Liturgy is in itself, and what nnreasonable prejudices are to the throne of grace with the wants of his people. He had sometimes taken up against it, the reader will not, I believe, the example of one of the brightest lights of that age, the judi- think it unworthy to be related. He was sent for to baptize the cious Dr. Sanderson, to justify him in this practice; and his child of a Dissenter in his parish, upon which occasion he made use of the office of Baptism, as prescribed by the Church of was contained every prayer which he had offered up to God on England, which he had got entirely by heart; and he went through that occasion; which, with farther arguments that he then urged, it with so much readiness and freedom, and yet with so much so effectually wrought upon the good man and his whole family, gravity and devotion, and gave that life and spirit to all that he that they always after that time frequented the parish church, delivered, that the whole audience was extremely affected with his and never more absented themselves from Mr. Bull's communion.” performance; and notwithstanding that he used the sign of the | -Nelson's Life of Bull, p. 31. cross, yet they were so ignorant of the offices of the Church that 1 John Williams and Francis Eglesfield printed an edition they did not thereby discover that it was the Common Prayer. against the King's return, and what copies remained in their But after that he had concluded that holy action, the father of the warehouse were seized by agents of Bill the King's printer on child returned him a great many thanks, intimating at the same Nov. 7th, 1660. There is extant also a royal mandate to Bill, time with how much greater edification they prayed, who entirely dated July 25, 1661, commanding him to restore to R. Royston, depended upon the Spirit of God for His assistance in their ex. of Oxford, a quantity of Prayer Books which he had seized by tempore effusions, than those did who tied themselves up to pre- mistake, supposing them to be falsely printed. State Papers, meditated forms; and that if he had not made the sign of the Domestic, Charles II., vol. xxxix. 87; xlvii. 67. cross, that badge of Popery, as he called it, nobody could have 2 State Papers, ibid. xi. 27. formed the least objection against his excellent prayers. Upon 3 Ibid. xxxii. 97. 109; 1. 22. which Mr. Bull, hoping to recover him from his ill-grounded pre * Kennett's Register, p. 629. judices, showed him the office of Baptism in the Liturgy, wherein 5 Clarendon, History of the Great Rebellion, iii. 990.
near for the return of Charles II. to the throne of his fathers, Prayer Books were brought from their hiding-places, printers began to prepare a fresh supply', and its offices began to be openly used, as in the case of the good and great Dr. Hammond, who was interred with the proper Burial Service on April 26th, 1660. Before the end of 1660, the demand for Prayer Books had been so great, notwithstanding the number of old ones which had been preserved, that three several editions in folio, quarto, and a smaller size are known to have been printed.
Charles the Second landed in England on May 29th, 1660, the Holy Communion having been celebrated on board the “Naseby” at a very early hour in the morning; probably by Cosin, the King's Chaplain, whose influence was afterwards so great in the revision of the Prayer Book. As soon as the Court was settled at Whitehall, Divine Service was restored in the Chapel Royal. On July 8th, Evelyn records in his Diary [ii. 152], that “from henceforth was the Liturgy publicly used in our Churches.” Patrick is known to have used it in his church on July 2nd; and Cosin, who reassumed his position as Dean of Peterborough at the end of that month, immediately began to use it in his Cathedral. From Oxford, Lamplugh (subsequently Archbishop of York) writes on August 23rd, 1660, that the Common Prayer was then used every where but in three colleges ', showing how general had been its restoration in the University Chapels, and perhaps also in the City Churches. By October, 1661, Dean Barwick had restored the Choral Service first at Durham, and then at St. Paul's. The feeling of the people is indicated by several petitions which were sent to the King, praying that their ministers might be compelled to use the Prayer Book in Divine Service, the Mayor and Jurats of Faversham (for example) complaining that their Vicar, by refusing to give them the Common Prayer, is “thus denying them their mother's milk :.” The non-conforming ministers at first allowed that they could use the greatest part of the Prayer Book; yet when requested by the King to do so, omitting such portions as they could not use, they declined"; but on the part of the laity in general the desire for its restoration seems to have been much greater than could be supposed, considering how many had never (as adults) even heard a word of it used in Church; and probably had never even seen a Prayer Book.
Before the King had left the Hague, a deputation of Presbyterian ministers, including Reynolds, Calamy, Case, and Manton, had gone over to him to use their influence in persuading him that the use of the Prayer Book having been so long discontinued, it would be most agreeable to the English people if it were not restored ; and especially to dissuade him from using it and the surplice, in the Chapel Royal. No doubt this was a very daring misrepresentation of the state of the public mind on the subject; but the King appears to have been aware that it was so, for he declined, with much warmth, to agree to the impertinent and unconstitutional request, telling them in the end of his reply, that “though he was bound for the present to tolerate much disorder and indecency in the exercise of God's worship, he would never in the least degree, by his own practice, discountenance the good old order of the Church in which he had been bred"." As we have already seen, the Prayer Book was restored to use in the Chapel Royal immediately after the King's return.
On July 6th, five weeks afterwards, there was a debate in Parliament respecting the settlement of religion. Some suggested that the restoration of the “old religion” was the only settlement required ; but in the end it was agreed to pray the King that he would call an assembly of divines for the purpose of considering the subject. The King, however, issued a “Declaration” on October 25th, in which he refers to his letter from Breda promising toleration to all opinions, and to the visit of the Presbyterian preachers; and complains of the intolerant spirit which is shown towards himself by the Presbyterians in wishing to deprive him of the services in the Chapel Royal, and in much misrepresenting his words, acts, and motives. He states, that it had been his intention to call a Synod at once to consider the affairs of the Church, but that personal feeling is so strong as to make such a step unwise for the present. Throughout this Declaration the King assumes that the Church is restored in its integrity; but promises that he will call an assembly of “ learned Divines, of both persuasions,” to review the “Liturgy of the Church of England, contained in the Book of Common Prayer, and by law established ;” again exhorting those who cannot conscientiously use the whole of it, to use such portions as they do not object to'.
It was in fulfilment of this promise that a Royal Commission was addressed on March 25th, 1661, to the following Divines, who constituted what is known as the “ Savoy Conference,” from its place of meeting :On the Church side.
On the Presbyterian side. Accepted Frewen, Archbishop of York.
Edward Reynolds, Bishop of Norwich. Gilbert Sheldon, Bishop of London, afterwards Anthony Tuckney, D.D., Master of St. John's Archbishop of Canterbury.
Cambridge. John Cosin, Bishop of Durham.
John Conant, D.D., Reg. Prof. Div., Oxford. John Warner, Bishop of Rochester.
William Spurstow, D.D. Henry King, Bishop of Chichester.
John Wallis, D.D., Sav. Prof. Geom., Oxford. Humphry Henchman, Bishop of Salisbury, after- Thomas Manton, D.D. [offered Deanery of Rowards of London.
chester.] George Morley, Bishop of Worcester, afterwards of Edmund Calamy [offered Bishopric of Lichfield].
Richard Baxter [offered Bishopric of Hereford]. Benjamin Laney, Bishop of Peterborough, after- Arthur Jackson.
wards of Lincoln and Ely. Brian Walton, Bishop of Chester.
Archbishop of York.
Bishop of Worcester and Salisbury.
chester and Ely.
John Collings, D.D.
Exeter and Norwich.
William Drake. As this Conference was the last official attempt to reconcile what was afterwards called the “ Low Church party” and Dissenters to the cordial use of the Catholic Offices of the Church, it will be desirable to give a short account of its proceedings. The Letters Patent authorized the Commissioners “to advise upon and review the said Book of Common Prayer, comparing the same with the most ancient liturgies, which have been used in the Church in the primitive and purest times; and to that end to
Cardwell's Conferences, p. 286.
3 “And was after by Synod commissioned to review the Com. mon Prayer Book.” Fothergill's MS., York Minster Lib.